Monday 18th June 2012
Day 30 - Charters Towers to Townsville - 135kms.

We woke at 6:00am, and got up and on the internet, getting our daily internet fix. The weather is 'the Norm' (cold, cloudless blue skies).
We will start to pack up shortly, as it is a very short drive, about 120kms, there is no need to leave early, also I don't want to be caught up in the Townsville rush hour traffic.
We finally left Charters Towers at 8:55am, an old fart came over as I was packing up and shadowed me for 10 minutes while I packed up, he wouldn't go away and Marg even showed him inside. As we were only driving 135kms, we were in no hurry, so we stopped at a rest area about 42kms away. As we continued I noticed that my 2 plastic containers that were tied in the tray were moving about a bit too much, so I stopped at the next rest area and tightened the rope, all was good to the end. We arrived at The Lakes Holiday park at 10:58am, were directed to our site, which has its own Ensuite, setup for a full stay, awning, sullage pipe, my lounge chair, satellite dish etc. Mid afternoon we walked to the Castletwon Shopping Centre about a 5 minute walk, to do some food shopping at Woollies, we took our black shopping trolley aka 'Granny's Trolley', it works well.
Back from shopping, we were sitting outside under the awning, as it was sunny and warm (25.1° at 12:10pm), that warm that we did 3 loads of washing and it all dried. (Di, how is the weather in WA?) Anyway, I digress, while sitting under the awning, Bob our neighbour came over and introduced himself and we chatted for over an hour, when his wife, Ann, came and joined us. We chatted for a little while longer, then parted for dinner. Dinner was sausages and vegies, Yumma as usual.

Tomorrow we haven't anything planned, except Marg's sister is visiting us in the arvo.

This morning's rest area.

Marg with her Granny Trolley out the front of Castletown Shopping Centre.

Walking through the car park.

Castletown is about 1km from camp.

Decisions, decisions....

Our dinner for the next week.

Scenery from the Rest Stop.

Tuesday 19th June 2012
Day 31 - Cruising around Townsville.

It was a mild night, only pulled on my 2nd blanket around 4:30am, we woke at 6:00am, and I got up and on the internet, while Marg stayed asleep for another hour or two. The weather is back to 'the Norm' (cold, cloudless blue skies).
We did a couple of loads of washing, then while I went and refuelled, Marg cleaned inside the fiver. We then went sightseeing, first along the Strand which is beautiful, next was driving past the casino, Marg can't wait to visit it. On the way back to camp, we drove to Castle Hill, the hill which looks over Townsville, We walked around the loop and took photos, then drove past Marg's sister's house and as we were out the front, her sister rang us. Unbelieveable, so we stopped and visited her for an hour or so.
We arrived back at camp about mid afternoon and saw the F18s come back to land, we actually hear them before you see them. At dinner time we walked a 100 meters to Pizza Hut, our pizzas were YUMMA. A quiet night watching the taped episode of Amazing Race Oz.

Tomorrow we do a tour of Maggie Island.

The V8 track is nearly ready.

Our camp is in the middle.

Beautiful views.

Magnetic Island.

3 F18s ready to take off. Taken from Castle Hill.

and away they go.

I still can see our camp.

Beautiful view with Maggie Is across the water.

Wednesday 20th June 2012
Day 32 - Magnetic Island 3 hour tour.

It was a mild night, only pulled on my 2nd blanket around 4:30am, Marg woke at 6:00am, and I finally woke about 7:15am. The weather is back to 'the Norm' (cold, cloudless blue skies).
We are leaving about 9:45am for the ferry trip over to Maggie island and then a 3 hour tour around the island. At least, we aren't on a 3 hour boat trip like Gilligan's. Hopefully we will return and report on our day's adventure with maybe a photo or two.

We are back, what a day!
We left camp at 9:45am and got to the ferry terminal at 10am, paid $7 for all day parking, walked over to the checkin counter, picked up our ferry tickets and waited for the 10:30am ferry. It was a 20 minute trip to Nelly Bay the new wharf on Magnetic Island. Last time we were there, the wharf was at Picnic Bay. After getting off the ferry, we walked out of the terminal and saw John our tour man, standing beside the stretched Jeep, so we knew it was our tour. As it turned out, we were the only people going on today's tour. John took us all over the island and it was that good, that Marg and I are going back to Maggie Island on Friday, Topless car rentals and doing our own extended tour, so I am only posting a couple of photos. You will now have to wait until I post Friday's photos.

Back at camp for a late afternoon chilled refresher and watching and mainly hearing the 4 RAAF Hornets coming back to roost. Gees, they're bloody loud, and so hard to photograph.
Tomorrow, I am taking Marg and my bike to the casino, Marg will play the pokies and I am going riding for a couple of hours.

Our stretched Jeep Limo.

Townsville across the water.

Morning tea picnic.

John our driver and tour guide was bloody great.

Marg feeding the Allied Rock Wallabies.

A bluewing butterfly, just posing in the sun waiting for its photograph.

Thursday 21st June 2012
Day 33 - Pokies, Riding and out to Dinner.

It was a mild night, only pulled on my 2nd blanket around 5:30am, I got up about 6:30am, and Marg finally woke about 7:30am. The weather was cloudy but by 9am it was back to cloudless sky until about midday when the cloud came in but no rain and still mid 20s°.
We left camp at 9:40am and after loading my bike and cycling gear in the mighty Navara, we arrived at the Casino carpark just on 10am. Our plan was Marg would go into the Casino and play the pokies, she can handle that, extremely well, while I would ride my bike all over Townsville and ring each other about midday. Sounds like a plan, I rode from the casino carpark to halfway out on the seawall, couldn't go the whole way as it was too bumpy and rocky. Stopped and took photos, rode back and then along the Strand to the end , stopped numerous times and took photos, rode back to the Marina, stopped and took photos, you are now getting the drift, I take the odd photos, then into CBD and across the bridge to South Townsville and along the other side of the Ross creek, I thought that it was the Ross river. It isn't. I rode to 3 different Port access roads, each one had a security gate, consequently, I didn't get in, then finally, I rode over to the new marina which is a couple of kilometers south of South Townsville. Just as I was leaving this area, Marg rang, it was just after midday and we planned to met back at the mighty Navara at 12:30pm. I rode back into the CBD, along the mall and arrived at the mighty Navara with a good 10 minutes to spare, by the time, Marg came out of the casino, my bike was all packed and I was in the mighty Navara waiting for her. I had ridden just on 24kms and loved it, Townsville is a beautiful city. Ohh Yeah, Marg won about $20 on the pokies, so we had lunch at Castletown Shopping Centre, I paid, but she won. Go figure.

We did go back to camp before lunch, so I could shower and change, it is not a good sight with me in lycra. We did a good food shop and spent the rest of the avro just relaxing back at camp. I had to empty the back seat of the mighty Navara as we are picking up Marg's sister and a girlfriend, as we are eating Thai tonight. About 4pm, maverick, Iceman, Goose and Wolfman came home to roost for the night, the sound of the F18s are absolutely awesome, even in overcast skies.

Tomorrow, we plan to be on the 8:45am ferry back to Maggie Island and pick up our topless chariot about 9:15am for our day of photography and sightseeing drive around the island, should be good.

Part of the Marina off the Strand.

The famous Strand.

Another nice shot. Nice bike as well.

Maggie Island in the background.

Still recovering from Cyclone Yasi.

The Sugar Shaker.

The Hornets coming home to roost.

The Hornets coming home to roost.

The Hornets coming home to roost.

Marina scape.

The seawall, I only made it halfway out. Too rocky.

What a great view!

Friday 22nd June 2012
Day 34 - To Home Hill to look at Rocks. - 201kms.

We had our worst night's sleep so far, because it was so warm, it didn't drop below 19°. I went to bed with 2 blankets and ended up with just a sheet on.
We were booked to do a self drive of Maggie Island in a topless chariot, but as it was raining, I rang the car company and cancelled our chariot. Instead, we decided to drive to Home Hill, to view the rock display at Ashworths, SO we drove 100kms south in the rain and by the time we arrived at Home Hill, about 10kms south of Ayr, it had stopped raining. We spent about 1 hour checking out Ashworth and then we drove back to Townsville arriving just on 1pm and still raining. We were both buggered after our poor night's sleep, SO Marg had a nanna nap, I lasted until 2pm, but then had my nanna nap for 2 hours.

When we awoke, it is still raining, just consistently light rain. We had to drive over to the Noodle Box about 200 meters away, to get our noodles for dinner. It was YUMMA!
Spent the rest of the rainy night, watching this week's Hamish and Andy's Euro Gap and then watched Amazing Race.

Tomorrow, we don't know what we are doing, as it will be weather dependent.

The Burdekin Bridge.

The Burdekin Bridge.

Marg in her lolly shop.

Epidote. I think we have some of this.

More rocks.

It is still raining at 6:15pm.

Saturday 23rd June 2012
Day 35 - Chillin'in Townsville.

A good night's sleep as we were prepared for a high minimum (19.4°). Today was a do nothing, stay at camp sort of day. Well, we did walk upto to Castletown Shopping Centre and checked out most of the shops and only spent $3.99 for some black velcro, but because I paid in cash, it costed me $4. Bloody ripoff! We had coffee and donuts at DonutKing, then walked back to camp. To walk off the donuts.

After lunch back at camp, Marg had a nanna nap and I sprawled out on my lounge, under the awning as the sun was back out and warm, and read my Steve Job's biography on my Kindle, Steve could be a real prick at times, only 33% into it. Late arvo, we walked upto Subway and I bought my dinner 2 foot longs. They were YUMMA.
There is bugger all on TV tonight, so we will watch some recorded shows on our Western Digital TV Player, probably 'The Vicar of Dibley'.

No photos today.

Tomorrow, we are off to the Townsville Mall market.

Sunday 24th June 2012
Day 36 - Townsville Mall market.

I read my Steve Job's book until 11;45pm, it is getting very interesting, I have trouble putting it down. Only slept for about 6 hours in total, so feeling a little tired. We went to the Sunday market in the mall arriving about 9:30am, met Marg's sister and partner for a coffee, then walked a lap of the market, usual stuff, I could have bought a painting, but baulked when I had to pay, SO we didn't buy anything. On the way back to camp we topped up with fuel and air, in readiness for tomorrow's drive to Clermont about 510kms, a big day.
During the arvo, we started to pack up what we could. Tonight, Marg's sister has invited us to their place for a roast, we couldn't say 'No'.

No photos today.

Tomorrow, we are off to Sapphire with an overnighter at Clermont CP.

Monday 25th June 2012
Day 37 - Townsville to Clermont - 509kms.

I awoke at 6:00am, and got up and on the internet, getting our daily internet fix. The weather was overcast, so I packed up everything outside that I could. Marg got up about 7am and we left at 7;45am.
First stop was MacDonalds about 200 meters from camp, Marg wanted breakfast, she had pancakes, I had my Weet-Bix. Our next stop was at Reid creek rest area and then refuelled at Charters Towers just after a 5meter wideload came through town. We then turned left into Gregory Development Rd and headed to Belyando Crossing, the road hasn't improved since we travelled it back on 8th July 2009, it is still bumpy and wavy. Our next stop was at a rest area and then we refuelled at Belyando Crossing at $1.846 a litre, it is the dearest so far this trip. We also had lunch in the van at Belyando, only a 176kms to Clermont CP. We managed another rest stop before arriving at Clermont at 3:40pm, a big day 509kms. We had dinner, pies they were Yumma and an early night as we are both knackered.
It rained most of the drive and while we were having dinner. The forecast is for more rain tomorrow.

Tomorrow we drive to Sapphire about 170kms.

Charters Towers - a 5 meter wideload.

Charters Towers - a 5 meter wideload.

Charters Towers - a 5 meter wideload.

Us at a rest area.

A 10meter wideload.

A 10meter wideload.

Belyando Crossing - refuelled and had lunch.

Belyando Crossing - refuelled and had lunch.

Belyando Crossing - refuelled and had lunch.

*2012 - Index page*

Heading to Sapphire.